RadioShack kicks off latest contract-free mobile plans

Provided by Cricket Wireless, the new plans range from $25 to $60 per month and offer a choice of a feature phone or a smartphone.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Mobile phone customers can choose from even more contract-free plans from RadioShack as of today.

Four new plans are available altogether through Cricket Wireless -- two for feature phones and two for smartphones.

The $25-per-month feature phone plan offers 300 voice minutes, while the $35 plan raises that to 1,000 minutes. Both plans up the ante with unlimited data access, unlimited texting, call waiting, and three-way calling.

The $50-per-month smartphone plan adds unlimited voice minutes and promises that the first gigabyte of data will run at full 3G speeds. The $60 plan offers the first 2.5GB of data at 3G and throws in tethering. Both smartphone plans offer unlimited access to music through Cricket's Muve Music service.

Muve Music lets Cricket's smartphone subscribers freely download music from an online collection of millions of songs. The smartphones sold through RadioShack come with an 8GB memory card, allowing users to store a hefty number of downloaded songs as well as photos and videos.

RadioShack is selling two phones to be paired with the new contract-free plans, with two more phones slated to reach stores by the end of this month.

The Huawei Pillar is a $39.99 feature phone equipped with a QWERTY keyboard, a built-in camera, and access to the mobile Web. The Pillar is available through either the $25 or $35 feature phone plan.

The Huawei Mercury Ice is a $149.99 Android 2.3 smartphone. Powered by a 1.4GHz processor, the Mercury Ice offers a 4-inch FWVGA screen and an 8-megapixel camera. The phone can be paired with either the $50 or $60 smartphone plan.

The team-up with Cricket is RadioShack's latest move to try to carve out a greater niche in the mobile marketplace. The retail chain already sells a variety of contract-free mobile phones paired with plans from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and Boost Mobile.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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